Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kati Short writes

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Je suis Charlie
Soy una mujer desaparecida
I am the woman in Mexico, Chile,
Nicaragua disappeared and buried
in an unmarked grave.
I am Michael Brown’s mother
I am Eric Garner’s sister and I cannot breathe.
I am a mother in Afghanistan
longing to send my daughter to school
and a woman in Iraq trying to keep
my children safe from armies.
I am a Syrian refugee, an Israeli grandmother,
I am families in Nigeria grieving the loss
of our daughter, one of the 276 taken one day.
I am a mother whose son lies dead on the battlefield,
a wife who bravely yet tearfully accepts the
folded flag.  My heart breaks with every
newscast, every new report of madness, the hate
our world is enduring.  I’m reminded of the scripture
“and Jesus wept,” and I too weep and know in
my head, in my heart that Mohamed,
Siddhartha Gautama, Vishnu, Mother Teresa, St. Veronica--
all the prophets and all the teachers and
all the saints and even God cry with me.
I am an American so my instinct impels me to violence.
Throw something in a bay, riot, revolt, yell and scream
until someone hears me, but there must be another  way.
There must be a way to find common ground.
I cannot fix the whole world, but I can try,
try to treat the world with kindness—random acts,
considered acts, planned acts, spontaneous acts
of kindness.  And I can offer more hugs.


  1. Anyone who has been following American news over the last several months knows what Kati is referring to here.

  2. This is one of my favorite Kati poems. The closing line makes me want both to receive and give a hug


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